塑性と蘇生 | Sosei to Sosei (Plasticity & Resuscitation)
12th Jan - 3rd Feb 2019
Photos: 守屋友樹
(This page is translated by Gaetan kubo using DL)
"Plasticity & Resuscitation" is a two-person exhibition by Keisuke Jimba and Gaetan Kubo at ARTZONE, an art space run by the Department of Art Studies and Cultural Production of Kyoto University of Arts. Jimba has painted finger-head paintings, in which he leaves finger marks by touching the paint with his fingertips before it dries, and paintings based on motifs of things he has touched with affection. By touching things concretely and abstractly, they change from what they were before they were touched to something else. Jimba uses the term 'plasticity' to describe the nature of change by touch. Kubo, on the other hand, uses research to uncover occultism that has been played down by modernist science, and turns it into works of art through video and installation. It is an attempt to visualise the past buried in invisible energy and history, and to revitalise and revive it in the present, just as mediums used to use various instruments to seance and verify the existence of spirits. Jimba focuses on the 'plasticity' that changes when touched, while Kubo tries to 'resuscitate' the heresy buried in history. In this exhibition, Keisuke Jimba sees 'plasticity' as a property that cannot be undone when force is applied, while Gaetan Kubo sees 'resuscitation' as the property of reviving things that have ceased to move and reducing the invisible to the visible. The exhibition is a mixture of the same-sounding but contrasting and opposing forces.
The intimacy of the invisible
Concealment and exposure, visibility and invisibility. These have always been political subjects as well as subjects of art. The works of Keisuke Jimba and Gaetan Kubo take us through these themes and invite us to think about things made invisible. One of Jimba's two-dimensional works is a 'finger-head painting', in which the artist touches the paint with his fingers before it dries. Of course, the technique of using the artist's own body as a paintbrush has been tried in various ways in the history of art, and Jimba's works can be positioned in this lineage. In one of the exhibited works, untitled (wood), the movements of the artist's fingers are preserved in the black acrylic paint. If you look closely at the painting, which resembles a depiction of a jungle, you can see a series of letters, "wood". Letters are, in the first place, written and read, and exist on the premise that they are visible. Jimba's practice makes use of the visibility and legibility of these letters, but does not play only with their surface. It is an attempt to clear the haze of vision, like tracing a finger across a condensation-covered windowpane on a winter's day. In "schematic (Celestial sphere map)", which consists of a plan and an essay, the attempt is developed in a different way from the finger-head paintings. The work presents the artist's bitter experience of meeting a foreign woman in Yokohama and suffering a communication breakdown due to her shyness, by comparing it to eclipses of the sun and moon that occur when the moon crosses the ecliptic. Just as it was the artist's own timidity that was exposed by the encounter with the other, the invisible can often be extremely intimate for us.
The same problematic awareness is at the bottom of Kubo Gaetan's installation Plasticity and Resuscitation. Here, air is continuously pumped into two giant balloons, forcing the viewer to fear the prospect of their bursting. When the balloons are nearly inflated to their limit, the airflow stops, and they begin to deflate, but after a while the airflow resumes and the balloons inflate again. In a wave of tension and relief, our own life activities, usually outside our awareness, appear before our eyes in deformed form. The strange cohabitation of invisibility and intimacy takes a different turn in Kubo's Radio Surfing. In this work, the walls of a small room are covered with the symbols of a certain cult that once made headlines for its protection against 'scalar waves'. Inside the room, a video showing the waveforms of radio waves, Kubo's voice explaining the circumstances that led to this exhibition, and miscellaneous sounds from the radio play noisily. The voice, which is directed at an unspecified number of people, also evokes the sensation that it is speaking to you alone. Or perhaps that is what radio voices are originally like. The underground broadcast to the abductees, which Kubo received in his attempt to capture the scalar waves, would also have made use of this characteristic. When the propagandistically produced voice, which is designed to provoke nostalgia, is broadcast over the radio airwaves, its familiar voice is distorted. The exhibition skilfully demonstrated the difficulty of maintaining a distance from these voices and the hope of unravelling what is still hidden.
Satoshi Kariki
From Kyoto Art Centre News Vol.226 REVIEW
Awakening the imagination
 Occultism is similar to art. Both are experiences of sensing phenomena and things beyond human knowledge in a particular place. Museums and galleries are nothing more than places where one's senses are renewed. The duo exhibition 'Plasticity and Resuscitation' by Keisuke Jimba and Gaetan Kubo touches on the origins of art/occultism. The homonymic titles are based on the characteristics of both artists.
 Jimba's exhibition includes finger-head paintings, in which he paints with his fingertips before the paint dries, 'Viewer and Interferer', in which he paints shadows of people looking at plants, and paintings and related texts based on Ptolemy's Celestial sphere map. All are magical realist paintings that plasticise into something else based on the sensations and emotions experienced through possessions and everyday experience. If you read the texts accompanying the works together, you can come into contact with the feelings and thoughts that are becoming detached from reality.
 Kubo exhibits a video and installation that researches occultism. The wings of a fan whose power cord is not plugged in rotate, two balloons (one red, one blue) suddenly blow up, and a board on the wall suddenly shakes with a rumbling sound. These are all mechanical occultisms that reproduce and revive inexplicable phenomena. Kubo deliberately visualises invisible energies reminiscent of supernatural phenomena through mechanical devices, creating an unsettling atmosphere.  However, the two artists' work is not about fear. Art once had its origins in the imagination, which was conscious of the invisible signs and beings of things and the world. This exhibition is a place to awaken the imagination, another common denominator of occultism and art.
Tsuyoshi Hirata (Art critique)
26th Jan. 2019 Kyoto newspaper
 扇風力発電(マケット)|  電力発電(マケット)
Electric generation from electric fans | Electric generation from electricity
小型扇風機、発電機、ベルト、電球、車輪、風車、木材 | モーター、発電機、ベルト、電球、木材
Small fans, generators, belt, light bulb, wheel, windmill, woods | Motor, generator, belt, light bulb, wood
⌘Pによる啓示 | The Revelation of ⌘P
Printer (Printed as the viewer passes underneath), plain paper, varnis on paper
Photo by Tsuyoshi Sato